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16 minutes ago, Masers said:

Yes, but if you read the article I linked, they do a real deep dive into the evidence and conclude that “immunity caused by natural exposure remains the most robust and durable and successful manner to protect the population.”

Not only is this not a scientific paper, this was published by the same "free market think tank" that has been arguing all along that the best policy is to "protect the vulnerable" and let everyone else get infected so we can reach herd immunity ASAP.  They are repeating the same arguments about vaccines leading to worse variants that have been presented in YouTube videos by the likes of Geert Vanden Bossche and Simone Gold, for which there is no evidence. There is no evidence that getting covid provides longer-lasting immunity, or more protection against variants, compared to the vaccines. They are simply presenting hypotheticals as if they were facts, in support of an argument that is really about economics, not virology or immunology/

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For what it's worth, my husband studies toxic torts -- so, essentially, products that turned out to be dangerous -- and he maintains that the things to *really* worry about are (1) things that you con

re scale of vaccinations vs Covid confirmed cases Responding just to this one part of your post-  As of yesterday, there have been 137 million vaccine doses into US arms:https://www.bloomb

For me it’s pretty simple.  Covid is known to cause death, and the mechanisms by which it does are known.  If someone has Covid and dies in the way that Covid is known to kill then Covid is a likely c

19 minutes ago, Masers said:

See, to me, this goes back to the very hubristic “my experts know more than your experts; I’m right, you’re wrong.” These people have the right to express their (expert) opinion, and other people have the right to agree with them. 

Sunetra Gupta was one of the scientists arguing that the UK was already close to herd immunity in spring of last year. Her ideas were widely refuted by other experts, but more importantly, her "estimates" turned out to be 100% wrong. See that little blip around spring of last year? That's when Gupta was arguing that the UK was near herd immunity and should just let healthy people get it, because there would be few additional infections or deaths. Doh!

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1 minute ago, Corraleno said:

Sunetra Gupta was one of the scientists arguing that the UK was already close to herd immunity in spring of last year. Her ideas were widely refuted by other experts, but more importantly, her "estimates" turned out to be 100% wrong. See that little blip around spring of last year? That's when Gupta was arguing that the UK was near herd immunity and should just let healthy people get it, because there would be few additional infections or deaths. Doh!

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9 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Sunetra Gupta was one of the scientists arguing that the UK was already close to herd immunity in spring of last year. Her ideas were widely refuted by other experts, but more importantly, her "estimates" turned out to be 100% wrong. See that little blip around spring of last year? That's when Gupta was arguing that the UK was near herd immunity and should just let healthy people get it, because there would be few additional infections or deaths. Doh!

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yep, a lot of people have been wrong about a lot of things. On each and every side of the issue. I still listen to what Fauci says, even those he’s been wrong about a lot of stuff, too. 

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

3. We actually do have data showing that with the new variants at least, the vaccines work better than natural immunity (from the initial strain). 

I don’t think this is true. Where is this data? Most data suggests that natural infection provides durable immunity for nearly a year, and still strong. For the vaccine, we have some phase1/2 immunogenicity from mRNA vaccines that show the same.

Where is the evidence that more people with prior infection are being reinfected with variants and doing poorly, compared with those who had the vaccine? 

51 minutes ago, kand said:

But so far, all evidence points against that. That article is brought to you by the same people who brought the Great Barrington Declaration, which has clearly been shown (as was widely stated at the time) would have been a disastrous approach, as shown by Brazil. These people are not experts in this field.

I am so not a GBD defender. But Brazil didn’t follow that at all. GBD did not say to just let it rip and do absolutely nothing, and then be totally inept at procuring and administering vaccination. And two of them at least are experts in the pertinent fields of public health, epidemiology, and infectious disease modeling. There are more diverse opinions about what we coulda/woulda/shoulda done about the pandemic in Feb/March than you’d think if you only read standard news media.

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59 minutes ago, Masers said:

You don’t think so? The Great Barrington Declaration was written by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff. I just looked up their credentials: British infectious disease expert Professor Sunetra Gupta, Stanford University researcher and Professor of Medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and biostatistician Dr. Martin Kulldorff. All three have loads of professional experience in infectious disease.
 

Dr. Kulldorff works on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the non-profit Fund for Public Health in New York City, some of which is related to COVID-19. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation. 

Dr. Bhattacharya research funding over the past 22 years of his career has come almost entirely from grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, and participation on contracts with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via a government contracting research group, Acumen, LLC. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation. 

Dr. Gupta’s research funding over the last 30 years has principally been through fellowships and investigator awards from the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council.  She has also received funding from the UKRI, the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the Emily and Georg von Opel Foundation and the Oxford Martin School. She and Dr. Craig Thompson have developed a novel method for producing a universal influenza vaccine (derived from a mathematical model) and this has now been licensed and is going through early testing. She does not hold any consultancy contracts or stock shares in any commercial company.

See, to me, this goes back to the very hubristic “my experts know more than your experts; I’m right, you’re wrong.” These people have the right to express their (expert) opinion, and other people have the right to agree with them. 

Where is this from?  I looked into the first, from Stanford.edu Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD.  

https://fsi-live.s3.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/cv-jay-march2016.pdf

Where is the infectious disease experience?  His research papers include: 

Effects of Obesity on Employer-sponsored Health Insurance

Temperance and the Russian Mortality Crisis

Helping Older Adults to Initiate Exercise Habits

The HIV/AIDS Pandemic and Africa’s Orphaned Elderly

 
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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

B1351 (SA), P1 (Brazil), and now B117 (UK), along with several other variants of concern carry a mutation called E484K that allows them to evade antibodies. This is not merely theoretical: vaccine efficacy against B1351 is significantly lower, and both B1351 and P1 have been shown to reinfect people who already had Covid. 

(Note that the data showing that the vaccines were equally, or nearly, as effective against B117 were collected before the E484K mutation was detected in that variant.)

There is good data on B1351 from Novavax, whose South African trials showed that previous infection provided no protection against reinfection with B1351 — people who'd already had the original strain were just as likely to be reinfected with B1351 as those who had never had covid before.

I haven't seen formal studies from Brazil yet, just case studies of reinfections, plus the fact that there has been a huge spike in P1 infections in areas that theoretically should have hit herd immunity, with three-quarters of the population already infected with the original strain.

There is also no question that the vaccines are less effective against B1351 compared to the original strain: 
Novavax was 96% effective against the original strain vs only 55% in South Africa
J&J was 72% effective in the US vs 57% in South Africa 
AZ was 76% effective in the US vs 22% in South Africa

Although Novavax and J&J do still provide solid protection against severe illness and death, the significantly lower efficacy against infection, and therefore potential transmission, combined with the ability of B1351, P1, and possibly now B117, to reinfect those who already had covid, is certainly reason for concern.

 

The theoretical herd immunity in Manaus, Brazil, is acknowledged to be most likely the result of one faulty study which was contradicted with other serology estimates. 
 

The only documented reinfections from P1 in Brazil that I’ve seen or heard of is this paper with these three cases. There are probably more, but notably, these three were milder disease than the prior infections, which is completely expected. People have also been reinfected and gotten Covid long before we have known of these variants, and these were also almost all milder than the initial infection.https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-318392/v1

So I think that a lot of what we see out there about P1 is simply clickbait.

Pfizer’s recent press release had small numbers, but showed high efficacy against symptomatic B.1.1351 infection. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-confirm-high-efficacy-and-no-serious

Anyway, why do we need to be concerned about these particular variants if our vaccines protect against hospitalization and deaths? 
It would be nice if no one ever got even a fever or a sniffle from this virus ever again, but I don’t see that this has ever been a realistic expectation. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Penelope said:

I don’t think this is true. Where is this data? Most data suggests that natural infection provides durable immunity for nearly a year, and still strong. For the vaccine, we have some phase1/2 immunogenicity from mRNA vaccines that show the same.

Where is the evidence that more people with prior infection are being reinfected with variants and doing poorly, compared with those who had the vaccine? 

Rate of infection with B1351 was 5.2% in those with previous infection vs 5.3% in those without previous infection. So 0% efficacy vs 50% for vaccine.
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.25.21252477v1https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.25.21252477v1

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6 minutes ago, kand said:

That’s insulting to all the people suffering long term physical and mental health effects as a result of Covid. Obviously no one would be worried about it if it was just about a fever or a sniffle. 

To be fair, she was referring to people that got the vaccine.  She was saying if they had the vaccine, it would be mild. 

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8 minutes ago, kand said:

That’s insulting to all the people suffering long term physical and mental health effects as a result of Covid. Obviously no one would be worried about it if it was just about a fever or a sniffle. 

No, it is not. Covid can be terrible. 

I am talking about re-infections, or infection after a vaccine, which for most people, will be at most a flu-like illness, a sniffle, or asymptomatic.

Now if someone is worried that a very mild reinfection will cause a horrible case of long Covid, she probably shouldn’t ever stop wearing masks and staying away from humans, at least for many years, because the chance of that is most likely never going to be zero. 

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9 minutes ago, Penelope said:

Anyway, why do we need to be concerned about these particular variants if our vaccines protect against hospitalization and deaths? 

Because "long covid" is a thing? Because sick people can spread the disease whether they're hospitalized or not? Because the UK study that was linked yesterday showed serious issues even in people who weren't hospitalized? 

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25 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Rate of infection with B1351 was 5.2% in those with previous infection vs 5.3% in those without previous infection. So 0% efficacy vs 50% for vaccine.
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.25.21252477v1https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.25.21252477v1

Thanks.

I don’t think this provides strong evidence (yet). The trial wasn’t set up for that finding, so there’s no calculation of significance. 

And what I really care about was what the reinfection is like. We know these were symptomatic, but that’s all. Nothing about severe outcomes in either seropositive or zero negative placebo groups or in the vaccine groups. 

Something else that’s interesting. Here are the confidence intervals that vaccine was efficacious in seropositive people  (had previous infection). HIV- 52.6% (-23.8, 81.8), HIV+ 52.2% (-24.8, 81.7). 


So you have a prior infection, and you are worried about B.1.1351 so you get the vaccine, but from this trial, you can’t say for sure this particular vaccine will help you. I wonder if they will continue to look at seropositive vs. seronegative in phase 3 trials in SA, and maybe have numbers that are large enough to detect a difference with the vaccine in previously infected people.
 

 

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20 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Because "long covid" is a thing? Because sick people can spread the disease whether they're hospitalized or not? Because the UK study that was linked yesterday showed serious issues even in people who weren't hospitalized? 

Then we are doomed. I now have no hope. Thank you. This thread is depressing. I do not want to hide in my home forever. So tired of doing that.

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25 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Because "long covid" is a thing? Because sick people can spread the disease whether they're hospitalized or not? Because the UK study that was linked yesterday showed serious issues even in people who weren't hospitalized? 

 

28 minutes ago, Penelope said:

Now if someone is worried that a very mild reinfection will cause a horrible case of long Covid, she probably shouldn’t ever stop wearing masks and staying away from humans, at least for many years, because the chance of that is most likely never going to be zero

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11 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Then we are doomed. I now have no hope. Thank you. This thread is depressing. I do not want to hide in my home forever. So tired of doing that.

Stepping away from it all for a while can give a fresh perspective.

There is no such thing as a no-risk life. We can’t fix all the things. 
And there are lots of other things that need fixing, need attention, besides Covid.

But there is hope. Vaccines are the hope. More people will get them, and all of our risk goes way way down. It just won’t be zero and we should not expect it to be.

We are so fortunate to have vaccines work as well as they do. Before November, we were hoping for 50% effectiveness, if we even got anything at all. 
Even if we didn’t get that, do you think people would have lived the way most of us are living now for two or three more years? I don’t.

I am hopeful and thankful and believe that as a country things will change once every adult has a chance to be vaccinated. 
 

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53 minutes ago, Penelope said:

I am talking about re-infections, or infection after a vaccine, which for most people, will be at most a flu-like illness, a sniffle, or asymptomatic.

J&J efficacy against moderate to severe disease 28 days post vaccination was only 64% in SA and 68% in Brazil. Their definition of "moderate" disease includes pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, shortness of breath, and low O2 sats. Not exactly a "sniffle."

The fact that the vaccines protect against hospitalization and death is excellent news. I believe the efficacy of Pfizer & Moderna against the variants is higher than J&J but as far as I know, they have not published actual numbers. Eta: Pfizer looks very good although based on very small numbers, I haven't seen stats for Moderna.

The sooner we can get everyone vaccinated, the sooner we can stop the spread, and the better protection we will have against the development of even worse variants. But implying that there is no reason at all to be concerned about variants because anyone who gets infected after vaccination will only have a "sniffle" is really misleading. 

 

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2 hours ago, Masers said:

(CDC Chief is a she.)

that is true, butttt there have been a noticeable tick in cases of “breakthrough” cases (aka getting Covid despite being vaccinated), which is discouraging. 
 

Yes, but if you read the article I linked, they do a real deep dive into the evidence and conclude that “immunity caused by natural exposure remains the most robust and durable and successful manner to protect the population.”

——-

 

We knew there would be breakthrough cases. AGain, no vaccine is 100 percent. But those breakthrough cases are small in number. It's expected. Some people won't mount a good response to the vaccines, etc. But almost all will. 

And that article you linked was by business people and a dentist, not experts on vaccines, nor virology, nor epidemiology. It was full of hypothetical theories that are not borne out by the facts. In fact, the facts we have fly in the face of what they are claiming.  

 

1 hour ago, Penelope said:

 

Where is the evidence that more people with prior infection are being reinfected with variants and doing poorly, compared with those who had the vaccine? 

 

I've posted multiple times about this, in this and other threads. We have data on reinfection with new variants of those with previous covid infections. We have other data on the vaccine and the variants. The vaccine does better. If you didn't like the links I posted th first several times I'm honestly not posting more at this point. 

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3 hours ago, TCB said:

@Masers I work in a healthcare facility and have talked to a number of people I work with about the vaccine. Everyone I talked to, who said they were not going to get vaccinated, did not seem to know much about it and had not read up on it - I asked them if they had looked into it and  they said no. Several nurses, who were initially hesitant, were encouraged to read some information about the vaccine by one of the drs and they then decided to go ahead and get vaccinated- I was really surprised because they had been quite vocal against it. Also the people around me who were/are hesitant are nurses and housekeeping etc, I don’t think any of the drs were hesitant. Anyway I say all this because I don’t think you can necessarily place a huge weight on the fact that HCWs are hesitant, because I don’t think they are reacting that way from being more informed than the general public - which surprised me too.

ETA - you had a really good summary of the reasons people are hesitant about the vaccine - a couple of them were new to me so very interesting!

This mirrors my experience.

 

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1 hour ago, kand said:

I’m not in favor of stripping medical or bodily autonomy rights either. There’s nothing here about that. You have posted a lot of incorrect information throughout this thread that will bolster the opinions of people who don’t think Covid is a big deal or that vaccines are helpful. This kind of false information is going to have the effect of prolonging this pandemic and making the toll worse on everyone. That’s why it matters to me and makes me frustrated. It’s not benign.

I have not posted incorrect info. 

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

The sooner we can get everyone vaccinated, the sooner we can stop the spread, and the better protection we will have against the development of even worse variants. But implying that there is no reason at all to be concerned about variants because anyone who gets infected after vaccination will only have a "sniffle" is really misleading. 

I wish this wasn't confusing to people. We're currently successfully breeding new bad variants in places with serious outbreaks is what we're doing 😞 . 

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13 minutes ago, Masers said:

Of course! I’m just saying it’s discouraging to see it. I’ve seen a lot of headlines lately. 89 vaccinated ppl in Minnesota was the newest one I’ve seen. I mean, of course we expect it. But this thread was supposed to be about why people are waiting or vaccine hesitant, and that’s all I’ve been responding with! I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from getting it. Just pointing out that there are numerous reasons why people aren’t gung ho about getting it, and I understand their perspective, while also understanding what you all are saying, too. 

Nope. You are not allowed to do that on this board. You are not allowed to understand or sympathize.

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1 minute ago, TexasProud said:

Nope. You are not allowed to do that on this board. You are not allowed to understand or sympathize.

If that's how you feel, you should probably go do something else instead of posting here 🙂 . I can't imagine spending time in a place which made me feel constantly misunderstood. 

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19 minutes ago, Masers said:

Of course! I’m just saying it’s discouraging to see it. I’ve seen a lot of headlines lately. 89 vaccinated ppl in Minnesota was the newest one I’ve seen. I mean, of course we expect it. But this thread was supposed to be about why people are waiting or vaccine hesitant, and that’s all I’ve been responding with! I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from getting it. Just pointing out that there are numerous reasons why people aren’t gung ho about getting it, and I understand their perspective, while also understanding what you all are saying, too. 

So you are saying that one reason people are not getting the vaccine is that it isn't 100 percent effective - that a vaccine that is 95 percent effective isn't worth it to them?

If so, that reasoning is....hard for me to fathom. 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

If that's how you feel, you should probably go do something else instead of posting here 🙂 . I can't imagine spending time in a place which made me feel constantly misunderstood. 

I guess so. Then you  can have your echo chamber. I'm relatively new here. My one year homeschool experiment was a disaster. Not doing it next year, so I probably do not need to be on the board. 

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Just now, TexasProud said:

I guess so. Then you  can have your echo chamber. I'm relatively new here. My one year homeschool experiment was a disaster. Not doing it next year, so I probably do not need to be on the board. 

I'm really not trying to kick you out!! I'm just saying that if you feel like everyone here is mean and unsympathetic, you probably aren't having fun here 😞 . 

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1 minute ago, TexasProud said:

I guess so. Then you  can have your echo chamber. I'm relatively new here. My one year homeschool experiment was a disaster. Not doing it next year, so I probably do not need to be on the board. 

Complaining that people who post actual links to scientific research refuting the misinformation that some people repeatedly post here are just a bunch of meanies who can't handle disagreement is... ironic.

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Just now, Corraleno said:

Complaining that people who post actual links to scientific research refuting the misinformation that some people repeatedly post here are just a bunch of meanies who can't handle disagreement is... ironic.

You should look at me with the personal vaccine experiences thread!! I went out and got an anti-viral for my cold sores as a result of the personal reports I'd read, which took time and money and require a serious commitment to taking evidence (even non-published evidence!) seriously... 

I'm like the poster child for taking data seriously... 😂

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Just now, ktgrok said:

So you are saying that one reason people are not getting the vaccine is that it isn't 100 percent effective - that a vaccine that is 95 percent effective isn't worth it to them?

If so, that reasoning is....hard for me to fathom. 

They are thinking if they are going to get it anyway and even here on this board you guys said that even with the vaccine we should worry about Covid because the variants may cause us to get long Covid anyway. I cross one goal post and this board give me another one. It feels like it will never be done.  I have been very cautious, but am about to give up. If I die. I die. 

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Just now, TexasProud said:

They are thinking if they are going to get it anyway and even here on this board you guys said that even with the vaccine we should worry about Covid because the variants may cause us to get long Covid anyway. I cross one goal post and this board give me another one. It feels like it will never be done.  I have been very cautious, but am about to give up. If I die. I die. 

I actually think we're much less likely to get sick with the vaccine -- that's what a 95% efficacy means, thankfully. However, it'd be even better if we got all the outbreaks under control, instead of letting them go on and on. 

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3 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Complaining that people who post actual links to scientific research refuting the misinformation that some people repeatedly post here are just a bunch of meanies who can't handle disagreement is... ironic.

No, your facts are right.  I have sympathy for people that don't understand or cannot see.  I do not think they are villans, which is the impression I get from most of you.

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1 minute ago, TexasProud said:

No, your facts are right.  I have sympathy for people that don't understand or cannot see.  I do not think they are villans, which is the impression I get from most of you.

Oh, gosh, one of my good friends locally doesn't vaccinate. Actually, more than one. I can be frustrated with their decision-making and vent about them online without feeling like they are villains. 

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Just now, TexasProud said:

They are thinking if they are going to get it anyway and even here on this board you guys said that even with the vaccine we should worry about Covid because the variants may cause us to get long Covid anyway. I cross one goal post and this board give me another one. It feels like it will never be done.  I have been very cautious, but am about to give up. If I die. I die. 

So these people do not see the difference between a vaccine being over 95% effective, and "gonna get it anyway"? If they can't get that 95% protection is better than 0% protection, I honestly don't know what on earth WILL sway people. I mean, that's basic math we are talking about - 95 is bigger than 0. 

And at this point, the vaccines provid protection against variants (some vaccines more than others) but others could come up, and then we may need boosters. 

There is a BIG difference between, "this is close but not 100 percent protection, and keep an ear out in case boosters become advised in the future" and "vaccines are useless and there is no point". 

 

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So given the % of Americans now vaccinated, why do we think cases are rising / in some places spiking?  I keep hearing that it is known that the vaxes very significantly reduce the ability to spread the virus, as well as to have enough symptoms to get tested.

It seems like people are taking it as fact that if you don't have Covid, you definitely can't spread Covid.  But if that is the case, why are there so many families where the people always home have positive tests while the person who goes out to work tests negative?

I do hope that the vax prevents spread, but I am not convinced we really know this for sure yet.

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7 minutes ago, SKL said:

So given the % of Americans now vaccinated, why do we think cases are rising / in some places spiking?  I keep hearing that it is known that the vaxes very significantly reduce the ability to spread the virus, as well as to have enough symptoms to get tested.

It seems like people are taking it as fact that if you don't have Covid, you definitely can't spread Covid.  But if that is the case, why are there so many families where the people always home have positive tests while the person who goes out to work tests negative?

I do hope that the vax prevents spread, but I am not convinced we really know this for sure yet.

The percent of the US population that has been fully vaccinated is only 18%, and some of those are not 14 days past the second shot. Some protection kicks in 14 days after the first shot, but the majority of Americans still haven't even had a first shot. And a lot of the spread we are seeing now is in children, who aren't eligible for the vaccine yet anyway. Also, the B117 variant is spreading rapidly and is already dominant in many of the states that are seeing big spikes.

Still, if you compare the new case rate in the US to countries that are much further behind in vaccinations — not just Brazil and India, but also France and Germany — the increase in cases here is much smaller and slower than the dramatic spikes other countries are seeing.

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9 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

The percent of the US population that has been fully vaccinated is only 18%, and some of those are not 14 days past the second shot. Some protection kicks in 14 days after the first shot, but the majority of Americans still haven't even had a first shot. And a lot of the spread we are seeing now is in children, who aren't eligible for the vaccine yet anyway. Also, the B117 variant is spreading rapidly and is already dominant in many of the states that are seeing big spikes.

Still, if you compare the new case rate in the US to countries that are much further behind in vaccinations — not just Brazil and India, but also France and Germany — the increase in cases here is much smaller and slower than the dramatic spikes other countries are seeing.

In places where about 50% have had at least one shot (which is supposed to give 80% protection), and a third have had both shots, positive tests are increasing over when immunization rates were lower.

It doesn't give me a ton of comfort that what the "experts" are telling us today is certain.

We'll see.  I hope they are right, because why wouldn't I?  But ....

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1 minute ago, SKL said:

In places where about 50% have had at least one shot (which is supposed to give 80% protection), and a third have had both shots, positive tests are increasing over when immunization rates were lower.

It doesn't give me a ton of comfort that what the "experts" are telling us today is certain.

We'll see.  I hope they are right, because why wouldn't I?  But ....

If transmission rates are higher overall, and many of the new cases are in children who cannot yet be vaccinated, then it's not at all surprising that cases would increase while vaccination is happening. In no way does that suggest that the vaccines are not providing any protection. This is literally *exactly* what public health experts have been predicting — and uptick in cases caused by the new variants while we race against time to get as many people vaccinated as possible. This is exactly why public health experts are telling governors not to open everything up and remove mask mandates when we are so close to getting most of the population vaccinated.

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12 minutes ago, SKL said:

In places where about 50% have had at least one shot (which is supposed to give 80% protection), and a third have had both shots, positive tests are increasing over when immunization rates were lower.

It doesn't give me a ton of comfort that what the "experts" are telling us today is certain.

We'll see.  I hope they are right, because why wouldn't I?  But ....

Cases are an even messier measurement now that we have more natural immunity and vaccination immunity. Hospitalizations and deaths are the primary metrics to look at.

Hospitalizations are concerning in a couple of places.

But cases depend not only on how many people have symptoms, but which groups of people (high vs. lower risk), how much testing is being done vs. some people choosing not to test anymore (unfortunately), outbreaks in particular spaces that may not actually pose a risk to the larger population. And now, some places are getting more rapid testing where they are testing people who perhaps normally wouldn’t have tested. Anyway, up til now, cases and hospitalizations have generally moved together, but now the picture is changing.

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7 minutes ago, Penelope said:

Cases are an even messier measurement now that we have more natural immunity and vaccination immunity. Hospitalizations and deaths are the primary metrics to look at.

Hospitalizations are concerning in a couple of places.

But cases depend not only on how many people have symptoms, but which groups of people (high vs. lower risk), how much testing is being done vs. some people choosing not to test anymore (unfortunately), outbreaks in particular spaces that may not actually pose a risk to the larger population. And now, some places are getting more rapid testing where they are testing people who perhaps normally wouldn’t have tested. Anyway, up til now, cases and hospitalizations have generally moved together, but now the picture is changing.

Yes, hospitalizations are up too despite the fact that higher risk people were given vaccine priority.

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4 minutes ago, kand said:

I don’t know where you are talking about, but Israel has been one to watch since they got off to a quicker start than everyone else. They have now reached 60% of the population vaccinated, while initially cases were dropping amongst the older people who are vaccinated first and not yet among younger people, cases numbers are being crushed in all age groups there right now. They just reported zero deaths. It’s actually super encouraging to see it happening that way.

Yeah, I've been watching their stats with a LOT of interest. 

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This is what new cases look like in three countries with high rates of vaccination (Israel, UK, US), compared to four countries with low rates (India, France, Sweden, and Germany). Israel and the UK have vaccinated a much larger percentage of the population compared to the US, so their case rate has fallen more dramatically, while ours is creeping up as so many states reopen prematurely, people travel for spring break, etc, while we scramble to get as many shots in arms as possible. 

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11 minutes ago, SKL said:

Yes, hospitalizations are up too despite the fact that higher risk people were given vaccine priority.

Unless those hospitalizations are in vaccinated people, I'm not sure what people are saying? We have lots of places relaxing restrictions, people congregating for spring break, etc etc all of which effect how many cases there are. We also have some places with the more contagious, likely more dangerous variants - Michigan and Florida are the top 2 for the B1117, I know Canada has the P1 variant. We can't say vaccination isn't helping because we don't know what the numbers would be without the vaccine. Until we get enough people vaccinated for herd immunity, we will still have spikes. 

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14 minutes ago, SKL said:

Yes, hospitalizations are up too despite the fact that higher risk people were given vaccine priority.

It's not the higher risk people who got the vaccine that are being hospitalized — there's a big increase in hospitalizations among young people, most of whom have not been vaccinated. That is a testament to the dangerousness of the B117 variant, not evidence that vaccines don't work. 

"We're seeing in places like Michigan that the people who are now getting hospitalized by large numbers are people in their 30s and 40s," Wen said. "And now we're even seeing children getting infected in larger numbers too."

"What we're seeing is pockets of infection around the country, particularly in younger people who haven't been vaccinated, and also in school-aged children," former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

In Florida's Orange County, officials reported late last month a rise in Covid-19 cases in the 18-25 age group. And a third of all of the county's Covid-19 hospitalizations were people younger than 45, according to Dr. Raul Pino, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

New Jersey officials said last week that variants, including the B.1.1.7 strain, were contributing to a rise in cases and hospitalizations -- including in younger age groups. Between the first and last weeks of March, there was a 31% and 48% increase in the number of hospitalizations among the 20-29 and 40-49 age groups, respectively, state health commissioner Judy Persichilli said Wednesday.

Meanwhile older residents only saw single-digit percent increases, she added.
 
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re why are cases rising when vaccines are rising

57 minutes ago, SKL said:

So given the % of Americans now vaccinated, why do we think cases are rising / in some places spiking?  I keep hearing that it is known that the vaxes very significantly reduce the ability to spread the virus, as well as to have enough symptoms to get tested.

It seems like people are taking it as fact that if you don't have Covid, you definitely can't spread Covid.  But if that is the case, why are there so many families where the people always home have positive tests while the person who goes out to work tests negative?

I do hope that the vax prevents spread, but I am not convinced we really know this for sure yet.

The entire US is all one herd, whether we feel like we are or not, whether we wish we were or not, because planes and trains and things that go, because spring break and holiday travel, because Walmart, because grocery stores.

Because folks who have the virus may not know it and go out and transmit unknowingly. And others who know they have *something* may attribute the something to allergies or a cold and transmit it unknowingly. And others who know they have it still go out and about because reasons.

There is no such thing as "local COVID conditions." See: the Brazil and UK variants briskly transmitting in Michigan.

"Herd immunity" requires somewhere between 70-85% immunity. We're at 26.5% vaccination rate. There are exactly three countries above 40%: Israel, Seychelles, and UAE.

 

@TexasProud:  The vaccines are ~95% effective, which means ~5% of vaccinated people who are exposed to the virus will still get breakthrough cases.  Not that ~5% of vaccinated people will definitely get it: they need to be exposed to it, to get it.  The idea of "herd immunity" is that the virus stops circulating, because enough of the herd is immune that the virus is no longer able to find enough hosts to keep replicating.  Which then protects not just the unvaccinated minority, but also against breakthrough cases. 

It's been a long hard year: Keep the faith.

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36 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Israel and the UK have vaccinated a much larger percentage of the population compared to the US...

For the record, this is true for Israel but not the UK, according to the Bloomberg tracker -- we've almost caught up to the UK! 

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